ASU Women suffer first conference setback

JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State women's basketball team (10-7, 4-1) dropped a 76-74 decision to Georgia State (6-10, 2-2) Tuesday night at the Convocation Center, snapping the Red Wolves' four-game winning streak to begin Sun Belt Conference play this season.

A-State had four players score in double figures, including two who registered a double-double, but posted a .362 shooting percentage in comparison to Georgia State's .481.  The Panthers also had three players of their own post a double-digits point total, and their bench outscored the Red Wolves' reserves 29-0.

Sophomore guard Aundrea Gamble led Arkansas State with 24 points, while Hanna Qedan added 16, Jalen O'Bannon and Jane Morrill 14 each and Brittney Gill six to round out the Red Wolves' scoring.  Qedan pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and O'Bannon finished with 10 boards as the two players recorded their second and third career double-doubles, respectively.  The last time two A-State players posted a double-double in the same game was Feb. 26, 2011, in a game against UALR at the Convocation Center.

"It was another one of those conference games where we found ourselves down and we have gotten away with it up to this point, but we had cautioned we were going to be sorry at some point and tonight we got ourselves down again and then we tried to dig ourselves out of it and we could never do that," A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. "Obviously, the biggest issue defensively was giving up 76 points and we just could never get stops we needed them and on offense when you score 74 points, turn it over only 11 times and get 20 offensive rebounds you ought to win the game but we just could never get over the hump."

Neither team held more than a six-point lead in a second-half that featured eight combined lead changes and ties while coming down to the final seconds.  Following a buzzer-beating three that put it ahead 42-38 at halftime, Georgia State began the final 20 minutes by extending its advantage to six points on two different occasions.  Trailing 46-40 with 18:15 left in the game, however, Arkansas State went on an 18-7 run over the next nine minutes to take their largest lead of the game at 58-53.

Georgia State countered with a 9-2 run, which included three of its nine 3-pointers, to reclaim a two-point lead at the 8:13 mark.  The game remained tight the rest of the way, but Georgia State broke a 69-69 tie with 1:18 to play on a pair of free throws and was able to hold off the Red Wolves the rest of the way.  A three-point bucket by Gamble with four second left in the contest set the final score as the Panthers were able to run out the clock and escape with the win.

Arkansas State finished with a 46-36 advantage on the boards, including 20 offensive rebounds that helped it outscore Georgia State 26-0 in second-chance points.  The Red Wolves also turned the ball over 11 times to the Panthers 14, but posted a lower field goal, three-point and free throw percentage.  A-State connected on 7-of-18 shots beyond the arc and 17-of-28 free throws; while Georgia State hit 9-of-14 three's and made 15 of its 22 attempts at the charity stripe.

Georgia State held its largest lead of the game at seven points twice, including 14-7 with 15:10 left in the first half, but Arkansas State was able to come back and take a 21-19 lead five minutes later.  The Red Wolves held their last lead of the first half at 24-23 at the 7:56 mark, but the Panthers then went on a 10-3 run and held the advantage the rest of the half.

Arkansas State will next play at Western Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 4:30 p.m. before returning to the Convocation Center for a 3:05 p.m. contest against UALR on Saturday, Jan. 25. For in-game updates follow @AStateGameDay on Twitter and stay up to date with A-State women's basketball team by following them on Twitter (@AStateWB), Instagram (AStateWBB) and Facebook (Facebook.com/RedWolvesWBB).